Walking by the Lake

This weekend we had some great unseasonably warm weather. High 30s! Trust me, in northern Minnesota, that is warm for this time of year. Early Saturday morning I decided to venture down to the lake shore with camera in hand. Specifically, I went to Canal Park by the Aerial Lift Bridge and our lighthouse. There was some beautiful light as it was shortly after sunrise (which, right now, is ridiculously late). During this time of year, the sun is rising as I’m going to work and setting when I’m leaving work…and my office has no windows. I’m starved for natural light & fresh air. Venturing out in the early morning was just the booster I needed.

The walkway out to the lighthouse is closed for the season, so I got a fun shot of the lighthouse through the gate. The gate itself is green…so I changed the photo to black and white. Much better. Below are a few of my favorite photos from the morning. Lighthouses

Bridge

Version 2

Snow Falling

Just another quick photo for you today. The snow was falling last night in that perfect quiet kind of way. I just had to walk outside for a moment to experience and capture it. I snapped a handful of shots and the one below is my favorite. Not technically perfect, and that doesn’t really bother me.

Snow Falling

Colorado Adventure: The Highlights

This summer I was able to spend 9 great days in Colorado for vacation. I originally thought Summer 2015 would happen without a major trip outside MN/WI. Then Kendra mentioned she was traveling to Denver for a conference and wondered if I wanted to tag along. Umm, yes! With only about a month to figure out the details, we planned a 9 day trip that encompassed some of the great activities Colorado has to offer. For today, I thought I’d share some of the highlights from our trip. I amazingly was able to pick 5 photos from the 500+ I took. I hope to also share a few more posts to highlight each of our different adventures.

While Kendra conferenced for the first half of the trip, I enjoyed decompressing from the busy school year. September to May are always so hectic. That’s why I like to take a lengthy vacation during the summer…just to relax a little and not think about work for awhile. I mostly vegged, read in Sense & Sensibility, and ate good food at the restaurants at our resort. My friend Ashley, from grad school, had just moved to Colorado and she came into Denver to hangout one of the days. We wandered around downtown Denver in the heat (so hot…I missed my natural air conditioner of Lake Superior) and saw the state capitol area.

CO Capitol

Once Kendra was done with her conference, we got to go play in the mountains for a couple days. First stop, Red Rocks! We were told by several people that any future concerts we go to will pale in comparison to one we would see at Red Rocks. The acoustics were amazing! We saw the group Wilco and only got rained on a little bit. Seeing the Denver lights in the background was also beautiful.

Red Rocks

After the concert we traveled north to Estes Park for the next leg of our trip: Rocky Mountain National Park. Truly playing in the mountains. RMNP was my 9th National Park and was a splendid day and a half.

Ute Trail RMNP

Highlights from RMNP:

  • Hiked on 4 different trails (and also small spurs at various areas)
  • Visited the Alpine Visitor Center which is the highest elevation visitor center in the National Park Services system
  • Enjoyed wildflower season
  • Hiked on the Continental Divide
  • Had our breath taken away by the beauty of the alpine region…and actually because hiking at 12,000ft is no joke.

K&E RMNP

After RMNP, we ventured back into Denver for 1.5 days of beer tasting. On our way back into Denver we stopped at New Belgium Brewing (a favorite) in Fort Collins, Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, and Boulder Beer Co in Boulder. Our last full day in Denver involved a lot of walking, 6 breweries, and 1 cidery. We visited Denver Beer Co (a favorite), Wynkoop Brewing Co, Denver ChopHouse & Brewery, Blue Moon at the Sandlot (at the CO Rockies stadium & also a favorite), Great Divide Brewing Co, Epic Brewing, and Stem Ciders (a favorite). I know that sounds like a lot. We were strategic with our tasting and we shared tasters of 3-4 kinds at each place.

Denver Bridge

Such a fun place. I can’t wait to go back some day. And, just a side note, all the photos featured were taken with my phone.

The Start of Something

Today marked the start of the Fall semester at UMD. We’re starting a whole week early. No more starting after Labor Day for our campus. I supervise the Peer Educators who work in our office. These students are primarily juniors, with a few sophomores and seniors thrown in there. This is a group of students (this semester 7) who primarily assist other students who would like help on their resumes. The group does so much more than that though.

Today, the Peers met for the first time as a group. We covered the craziness of job fair season that we are entering (just to prepare people). We also just spent a good amount of time getting to know one another. I had the “brilliant” idea that when people introduced themselves they ask the group a question. Yeah, that took so much more time than I anticipated. Oh well, in the long run it’ll be worth it that we spent the time laying the groundwork for the year.

I see the potential in the group as a whole.
I see that we all have room to grow (including myself).
I see that each person brings her or his strengths.
I see opportunity for challenge and support.
I see great things from each of these students both in and out of our office.
I see that we’ve got a great team of Peer Educators for 2015-16.

Most of all, I’m happy to be their supervisor and I can’t wait to see what happens this year!

Rockies Wildflowers

I just got back from a wonderful 9 day vacation in Colorado. While I did a lot of different things (including a concert at Red Rocks & sampling some fabulous breweries), my favorite time of the whole trip was in Rocky Mountain National Park. The alpine area (well really the whole park) was absolutely stunning. While there, it was wildflower season. Here’s one of my favorite wildflower photos I captured:

Rockies Wildflower